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Current Volunteer Needs

The following opportunities are currently available. To apply for any of these positions, please complete the volunteer application. The Volunteer Department will contact you to schedule an interview or invite you to an upcoming introduction to the Museum. If you have specific questions, please contact Janet Morris at 619.255.0245 or  

Summer Camp Aides (High School)

The Education Department is seeking high school students as volunteer camp aides. Camp aides participate daily in a variety of fun activities such as nature hikes, story time, crafts, and science activities tailored for student campers from pre-K to 8th grade. This is a great way to earn your community service hours. You must be at least 16 years old and entering 11th or 12th grade to be a camp aide, and you must complete a background check as part of your application process. 

Summer camps run June 22–August 14, 2015, and we expect a two-week minimum commitment. Camp hours are 8 AM–5 PM for full-day camps; 8 AM–1 PM for half-day camps. Volunteer camp aides must attend a three-day orientation and training session, June 17-19, 2015. Applicants will be contacted to arrange an interview. Apply today. Application deadline is May 8, 2015.

Reptile Caretaker Needed

The Exhibits Department is seeking a caretaker who loves lizards, snakes, and bugs to help us keep our live-exhibit animals healthy. Duties include feeding, watering, cleaning, keeping enclosures beautiful, and talking with our Museum visitors. Volunteers need to realize that taking care of live animals requires commitment and responsibility. Reliability on a weekly basis is a must. Animals are housed in both public and nonpublic areas. We have a Monday opening only. Volunteer must be available 2–3 hours per week for six months between the hours of 10 AM and 5 PM.

Explore the Wild Side of San Diego as a Canyoneer

It's not too early to apply for the fall training for the Canyoneers. Canyoneers lead free guided nature walks from the coast to the desert. They are trained by Museum curators and other local experts to inspire appreciation of the plants and animals in southern California. Training is 10 consecutive Saturdays from September 12–November 14, 2015; 8 AM–3 PM. Graduation is November 21. A minimum commitment of six hikes per year for two years is expected. Training materials are $25. Apply today. Application deadline is August 15, 2015. To see the Canyoneers in action, take a Canyoneer hike

Share Your Love of Whales as a Museum Whaler

Join an enthusiastic crew of volunteer naturalists on board Hornblower Whale and Dolphin Watching Cruises. The Museum Whalers are trained by scientists from NOAA and other local experts to educate the public about the wonders of the ocean and the whales that are seen off the coast of southern California. Training is held eight consecutive Tuesdays from October 6–December 8, 2015 from 6:30–9 PM. (There will be no class Thankgsgiving week or the first week in December.) A minimum commitment of three cruises per month during the season (mid-December through April) is required. Apply today for the fall training. Application deadline is September 9, 2015. To see the Museum Whalers in action, join them on a cruise

Put Your Teaching Skills to Work as a Museum Docent

Become a San Diego Natural History Museum Docent and share your love of the natural world with young and old alike. Docents are trained by Museum curators and other local experts to connect people with the rich biodiversity of the region. Hop aboard the Museum-on-Wheels and educate students in local schools or engage the public in the Museum. Training is held consecutive Wednesdays September 9, 2015–March 30, 2016 from 9 AM–3 PM. Training materials are $20 and Museum membership is required. Application deadline is August 21, 2015. A weekly commitment for two years is required. Apply today. 

Share Your Enthusiasm for Nature with Museum Visitors

Do you enjoy the natural world of San Diego County and the Baja peninsula? Are you outgoing and enjoy sharing your knowledge? Then join the Museum as an Exhibit Interpreter in our exhibition, Water: A California Story. You’ll use inquiry-based learning to educate our guests about the ecosystems of San Diego County and about water distribution and conservation. As an option, you can also be trained to conduct live animal demonstrations with our gopher snake, rosy boa snakes, or a bearded dragon. This is a 7-day a week opportunity with a 2 hour shift (11 AM-1 PM or 1 PM-3 PM). A minimum 3 month commitment is expected. Apply today.

Help Needed with Visitor Surveys

Public Programs is seeking volunteers to help conduct visitor surveys in the Museum. Requirements include: An outgoing personality, an ability to approach strangers, and on-the-job training on conducting surveys. Flexible schedule. Apply today. 

For other volunteer opportunities in the San Diego area, visit the Cultural Volunteer Managers Council website

Exhibit Interpreters Needed for Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed

Do you have more than a passing interest in the Maya civilization? Do you enjoy sharing your knowledge with others? If so, volunteer as an Exhibit Interpreter in our upcoming traveling exhibition, Maya: Hidden Worlds Revealed, opening June 12, 2015. As an Exhibit Interpreter, you will collect admission tickets, guide guests through the exhibition, and staff one of several interpretive stations where you can share information about specific elements of the Maya culture.

We expect that you commit to one 3.5 hour shift per week for a minimum of 3 months. Shifts run 10 AM–1:30 PM or 1:30–5 PM every day. Training will be provided Thursday, June 4; 6–8 PM or Saturday, June 6; 9–11 AM. Apply today.